Veteran talk radio host Mark Richardson leaving show
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IDAHO FALLS — After a distinguished 24-year career in talk radio, Mark Richardson is leaving his show on KEIR 101.1 FM.
Richardson will begin teaching government and American history at Bonneville Technical Career High School in Bonneville Joint School District 93 starting Aug. 29.
“I’m not leaving the station because I’m forced out,” Richardson said in an interview with EastIdahoNews.com. “The time was right and the circumstances were right. This is an opportunity to take a break and teach the kids.”
Richardson began his career in radio as a child. His father, Idaho Sen. Mel Richardson, was the voice of Ricks College Vikings athletics. He also broadcasted local high school sports games across east Idaho.
“As a young boy, he’d take me along to do the statistics,” Richardson recalled. “As I got older, he started having me do the color work with him and then bring me in to talk about the games.”
In April 1993, Mark joined forces with his father and two brothers, Todd and Lance, and began hosting the talk show “Probing America.” The group discussed politics, current events and the United States Constitution. After a year, Todd went to law school, but Mark, Lance and Mel continued their program.
“In 1996, Lance’s health became so bad he had to leave the show and he told us we’d have to stop,” Richardson said. “I told him, ‘Oh no, I’m going to keep doing this.'”
Richardson continued to host “Probing America” with his father until Mel passed away two years ago. Since then, he has been broadcasting on KEIR 101.1 FM every afternoon.
He spends hours preparing and researching for each show and tries to educate his audience while asking for their opinions.
“I will miss teaching adults about the Constitution and the principles about what is happening in the world,” Richardson said. “But I’m excited to now work with teenagers. I’ve always said our kids need to be taught the Constitution, and they need to understand the founders and the principles this country was built on.”
Richardson isn’t leaving radio completely. He will continue to host a Saturday show on KEIR from 7 to 9 a.m.
The talk show veteran will sign off his weekday show Friday afternoon at 3 p.m. and has a special message to his listeners as he says goodbye.
“They’re my friends and I’m going to miss them,” Richardson said, choking up. “It’s wonderful to have so many people tell me they love what I’m doing. It’s not because of me but it’s because of what we talk about. They love liberty and freedom and the Constitution and the United States of America. And to them I say, ‘Thank you.'”